Archive for Wednesday, May 17, 2000

Students work in makeshift classes

May 17, 2000

Even a tornado can't keep Tonganoxie Elementary out of commission for long.

Despite Thursday night's tornado, which peeled away tar off of about 25 percent of the roof and caused extensive damage to eight classrooms, school was back in session Monday morning.

Administrative assistant Tammie George said some of the children appeared hesitant when approaching the building.

"In their minds I think they expected to find the school in pieces," George said.

"But we do still have a building, and it's pretty normal, all things considering," she added.

Students whose classrooms were damaged were given new places to study, including a doubling up of two first-grade classes in one of the vocal music rooms, classes in the school library and special education, art and gifted rooms.

Monday afternoon first-graders put pencil to paper as they sat in groups at tables, backdropped by row upon row of books in their makeshift classroom the school library.

George praised the teachers for their work in bringing order to their classroom activities.

"We had teachers who had to be displaced who spent all day Saturday and Saturday night, as well as Sunday working here," George said.

She also praised the teachers for holding classes despite their losses.

"Can you imagine if they said you can't use any of your textbooks or any of your supplies but you still have to have school for five more days?" George said.

George said the students were taking the tornado in stride, and teachers were encouraging them to write about it, as well as talk about it. And talk they are, George said, commenting how a fifth-grade boy asked Saturday morning if his teacher would accept this excuse for unfinished assignments: "The tornado ate my homework."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.